up·​end | \ ˌəp-ˈend How to pronounce upend (audio) \
upended; upending; upends

Definition of upend

transitive verb

1 : to set or stand on end also : overturn sense 1
2a : to affect to the point of being upset or flurried a … literary shocker, designed to upend the credulous matrons— Wolcott Gibbs

intransitive verb

: to rise on an end

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of upend in a Sentence

He upended the bicycle to fix its flat tire. I upended the bucket to use as a stool. The security inspector upended my bag and dumped everything out. A giant wave upended the surfers. The midfielder was upended before he got the ball.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web There are moments that upend traditional gender roles in Heartburn, too. Alexandra Ossola, Quartz, "Before We Knew Better: Nora Ephron’s Heartburn offers a complicated look at women, and at feminism," 16 Dec. 2019 In Georgia, Mosby is still waiting to hear whether the EEOC will pursue her case against the city of Byron — and whether the Supreme Court’s ruling might upend it. San Diego Union-Tribune, "AP analysis: Most states lack laws protecting LGBT workers," 15 Oct. 2019 While sustainability is her immediate priority, Purnomo’s goal eventually is to beat the ride-hailing giants that have upended what was once an industry renowned for its steady revenue and dominated by small owners and families like Purnomo’s. Fathiya Dahrul, Bloomberg.com, "Grab Faces Off Against Tesla Taxis in a War of Cabs in Indonesia," 22 Sep. 2019 Screenwriter Cody deliberately set out to make a horror film that honored the conventions while upending them in interesting ways. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Horror film Jennifer’s Body bombed 10 years ago; now it’s a cult classic," 21 Sep. 2019 Warren’s approach to structural reforms best resembles a scalpel, making careful changes beneath the surface that rework the system without completely upending it. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "Sanders and Warren Plot Their End Run Around the Senate," 13 Sep. 2019 Monday’s Business section examines instant-buying — a practice that could bring efficiency to the real estate market or upend it. Ben Muessig, latimes.com, "California Inc.: A sale for the record books," 8 July 2019 The findings upended assumptions about cardiac care, says co-author Dr. Robert Harrington, a cardiologist and the chair of the department of medicine at Stanford University. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "When It Comes to Some Medical Treatment, Researchers Find Less Is More," 16 Jan. 2020 The reason for bringing up these streaks is that Baylor’s rise, first under Briles and lately under Rhule, helped upend the traditional power structure in Texas. Kevin Sherrington, Dallas News, "What Matt Rhule’s departure could mean for Baylor and its in-state competitors," 10 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'upend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of upend

1823, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about upend

Time Traveler for upend

Time Traveler

The first known use of upend was in 1823

See more words from the same year

Statistics for upend

Last Updated

4 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Upend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upend?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=number&file=9upend01. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for upend


How to pronounce upend (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of upend

: to cause (something) to be upside down : to turn (something) over
: to cause (someone) to fall down or be turned over


up·​end | \ ˌəp-ˈend How to pronounce upend (audio) \
upended; upending

Kids Definition of upend

: to set, stand, or rise on end

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on upend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for upend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with upend

Spanish Central: Translation of upend

Nglish: Translation of upend for Spanish Speakers

Comments on upend

What made you want to look up upend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!